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"Tell me about God, because I'm forgetting..."

I love This story and of course you will gather what you will from it.

I have a friend who grew up in a fundamentalist family in Idaho with his two brothers. All three brothers and the mother eventually ended up completely rejecting their faith and moving to Portland, OR. I love their story but it is not my main point. The father ended up being a big hypocrite and doing the very things he preached against. They shared a story with us one night of another couple with 2 and 4 year old daughters who were fundamentalist as well:

The 4 year old asked the parents to leave the 2 year old's room. Via Toddler-cam the parents viewed the 4 year asking the 2 year: "Tell me about God, because I'm forgetting." Needless to say the response was unintelligible.

I'm going to share some of my perceptions based on this.

1.) I Love the story because it's cute and it begs a lot of questions..
a.) Could they really understand each other? How was a response formulated? Do Children entertain an understanding that adults have forgotten?
b.) Was the Child Indoctrinated from her religion? This is the easiest answer to formulate, but I think it is largely an assumption. A four year old has probably not been introduced to the idea of former life by fundamentalists in this way. This is not typically a Christian doctrine. Pre-life is rarely, if ever emphasized. At four years a clear and concise understanding of an "ADULT" conceptualization of God would be very unusual. But this would still seek for a child's or infant's understanding of God? The knee-jerk reaction would be: "Indoctrination." But this would be hardly more than a need to explain something that is from immediate appearances unexplainable. The explaination then becomes: "imagination." But what motive from a four year old's "ego," would conceptualization of a "loss of connection with 'God" be explained by?
c.) Why did the child ask the parents to leave? Embarrassment or knowing the idea would be rejected by her parents?

2.) I contend that the story encapsulates the idea that God is not a Deity but a symbolization of a state of Oneness as I've described in other threads. It could be argued that her concept was based on adult understanding, but I think this really denies the point. She used the word God because there were no other words available and the word God to a large extent is spiritually arbitrary. Would this occur to a four year old? I think it could. Consciousness is not happenstance but is inherently profound, largely misunderstood, and taken for granted. If consciousness is not happenstance, it must follow that all consciousness is connected.

It is of course possible that the story is a complete fiction as it hearsay, and can be discounted or not? I doesn't vary from my own experiences so I accept it as a cute story with a moral.
Posted by Flabbergasted | Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:51 PM (0 replies)

God as symbol...

The origins of the word god are not based in historical writings but the oral and cultural traditions of our long forgotten past. This past was allegorical, but the primary driver of mythology was the use of entheogens. The use of entheogens, and likely other forgotten ecstatic, and contemplative, ceremonial techniques, resulted in states of selflessness which further brought those into contact with a state of transcendent oneness: the source of consciousness. A state of non-mind cannot be described by those in the ego. This is the initial understanding of God. God was a word to describe this state which was further anthropomorphized into some religions. Contemplative and mystical traditions maintain a more direct path to this state than some other religions which focus on charity, or group mythology.

This is exemplified by millennia of Abrahamic theologians who described the conceptualization and personalization of god as being a false understanding. Eg consider the word creator: the concept of creator properly understood and conceived can only apply to human beings and can not really be used to describe God. There were those who considered the mind as only being able to describe what god is not or concepts god could only exceed. This is also why the Buddha refused to talk about this state. He literally couldn't do it. The above paragraph, also explains why the Buddha described his teachings as being only a remembrance of the path, that had already been paved. It is also why the first line in the Tao is: "The way that can be named is not the eternal way."

The discussion of faith, fact, proof, perception, conceptualization, personalization and observation are not appropriate ways to understand what God is, and only indicates that the subject is misunderstood.

This is of course only my understanding and I mean no disrespect to anyone's beliefs.
Posted by Flabbergasted | Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:28 PM (14 replies)

Religion is not the Problem: But is it the Answer...?

I had a talk with a friend: she is spiritual but not religious, like me. I have been contrasting the differences between spirituality and religion and seeking "the synthesis." What is the lowest common denominator?

Our conversation juxtaposed two opposing views: "Spirituality as a subjective path leading to a subjective enlightenment" vs "religion is about controlling people." There are many religions some of which are the exact antithesis of control. In Sufism it can be described in this way: even unto the gates of heaven do you seek another to enter above yourself. In Taoism it is: "To live without motive is to experience the world." There is no end to selflessness.

Government is about controlling people as well: by it's very design. In fact religion and sect describe the functional role of political party perfectly: A group of people that have a comparative notion of idyllic government/religious role, and the best road to arrive at this goal. The extension is: individual results may vary. "Many paths to god." Juxtapose this idea against an individualist notion of government role and spiritual function. ie Imagine if everyone was expected to offer their own subjective rule on (x issue), and specifically issue their own governmental voice, outside of any wisdom and counsel provided by others. It is an impossible and ridiculous notion. Some people would master this act, while most others would not have the first clue. Hence, the difference between the spiritual and the religious on an individual basis. The spiritual and political masters are going to attract a following which will many times lead to sect, religion, party and government.

Government and religion can and are used for the will of the few against the mindlessness of the mass. This is an entirely different cultural phenomenon then the subjective experience and needs of small groups and individuals. It is just a fact that there are those that have no qualms with harnessing any vehicle for their own design. And it will remain a cultural phenomenon that a group is the cultural manifestation of a need and has it's roots in the individual.

Posted by Flabbergasted | Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:11 PM (95 replies)

All Religion is about only one simple concept:

A return to Oneness.

And you can verify this with one simple exercise.

Be One.

Posted by Flabbergasted | Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:24 PM (80 replies)

Any cartoonists looking for an idea...

I'm not an artist, but I think this would be great satire...

It could be one, or multiple screens...

It would be called "If Jesus were like his Father"

The screen, or screens, would contain scenes of Jesus telling his disciples to go forth and, instead of spreading his word or make disciples, "kill every man in (insert land, town etc) rape and enslave the women, stone the gays, etc. There are a number of possible other frames stemming from this. A funny one would be Jesus scolding a woman in the kitchen, " You know I don't like my steak with any dairy products." One of the scenes would have Peter saying to Judas, "I like this guy", to which judas replies, "He's got to be stopped."

Let me know if you do it. I'd like to see how it comes out. Wondering if it has been done already?
Posted by Flabbergasted | Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:08 AM (1 replies)

"Atheists...do not have a position that needs either "support" or "faith"? Another way of saying

this it is self evident that god does not exist, and no evidence exists that "it" does.

Atheism is a belief that is supported by contentions that its own preconceived notions about god are fictitious.

Further I dispute that atheism is self-supported and in fact contend that it is irrational. Nothing in atheism would suggest that an abundance of matter should contain life, should be expected to contain life, or would actually have a mechanism that would evolve this life much less formulate the conditions to make this life occur. Lets step even farther. "If" you believe in the Big Bang Theory, where did this matter and energy originate and where did the spark of life come from. A swirling super-heated mass of immensely pressurized matter would not contain life so why would it be assumed that life would pop up at all, much less formulate into incredibly complex biological systems. Evolution is frankly not a very satisfying answer including natural selection. (Not to suggest I don't believe in evolution. I do) The process to evolve must be premeditated in some way. Assuming, or taking for granted, that single celled organisms would form in the first place, why would you therefore conclude that they "evolve" at all. To maintain their own species? Where does the "program" or mechanism to evolve the species originate? Why would there be a mechanism at all? If natural selection is the vehicle, where did natural selection come from? To an atheist a pile of rocks is a pile of rocks; why would anything self formulate from a pile of rocks? Where does intelligence come from? Why would a single celled organism evolve into an incredibly complex system capable of questioning its own existence? Expand further: this universe goes forever in all directions, an incredible collection of immensely complex systems that we have not even begun to understand.

I dispute your contention that most atheists do no believe that science supports their position. Historically science and atheism have been bedfellows contradicting church teachings for centuries. Refer to this article...


I'm glad you have framed your argument in this way because it was exactly the point I was trying to make: The tyranny of belief.
Additionally the remainder of your argument points out the existence of preconceived notions.

Presupposing that a belief in theism automatically precedes from a belief in a religious text or pantheon is a fiction, although widespread. The point you missed from my reply is: "dogma will not survive intact." From this statement you would draw the conclusion: theism at it's essence does not need to arise from the descriptions of God, and the gods of the pantheon, as described in any religious or historical text. Simple theism, as I am defining it, rejects all anthropomorphism as an attempt to describe the indescribable and most of what is included in religious and historical texts is lack of understanding, historical revision, and outdated belief systems.

There is no solid irrefutable indication that god influences us in any judgmental way. This is a preconceived notion that God is other or separate. There are those in the Christian faith who insist that events in their life are directed by god. I don't think it explains all available data and I don't believe in the cliches "god works in mysterious ways, and god has a plan".

I actually have a lot of misgivings about using the word at all. This word has been used for centuries to describe anything from idols, to a force. I am unable to use this word in an analytic way without a preconception by others as to what the word would mean and my context for using it hence your belief that I must be describing what must amount a man in the sky.

The real question at this point is what is god then? It's a really challenging question to answer. I think of god as being both the source, creation and force. On the other hand understanding these concepts with the mind is impossible because they are beyond dualism. But really beyond all that god is experienced.

I offer up this analogy: An alien space ship is found on planet earth and a group of atheists and dogmatic theists are sent to provide explanations. The atheists study the ship and conclude that the ship just happens to be here. The dogmatic theists conclude that a massive humanoid being put the space ship here.

Thanks for your reply.

Posted by Flabbergasted | Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:45 PM (1 replies)
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